WASHINGTON – A top Senate Republican is shelving draft legislation that would have triggered nuclear-related sanctions back on Iran over its ballistic missile activity, acknowledging it cannot garner the 50 votes required for passage and would ostracize foreign allies, The Jerusalem Post has learned.
Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tennessee), chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, continues to work with members of his own party, Democrats, European envoys and the Trump administration hoping to construct legislation that will send a message of toughness to Tehran while keeping the nuclear accord intact. But the amendment he initially previewed one month ago with Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Arkansas), alongside President Donald Trump’s national address on Iran policy, will not advance as planned.
It is a setback for the Trump administration, which in its rollout of a comprehensive policy approach to Iran characterized Corker and Cotton’s bill as a “legislative remedy” to its concerns with the Iran nuclear deal. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson requested a vote on it within 90 days.
Thirty days into that time frame, Trump administration officials have not yet engaged with any of the moderate Democrats they would need to pass relevant legislation. They have not yet brought on board their European allies, who were represented in Washington this week lobbying lawmakers against taking any dramatic action. And foreign policy leadership in the House of Representatives is entirely in the dark on what’s to come. One top Republican aide characterized the talks as three-way negotiations among Senate Republicans, Senate Democrats and European diplomats, with the president and his aides taking a back seat...
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